Here’s an uplifting story about new affordable housing coming to the city. With so much recent attention placed on the development of luxury apartments and condos from big-time developers and celebrities, a lot of people were downright scared that ordinary people, including ones that need a boost to get out of whatever scary situation they are facing, would be left behind. I think we should have more developments like these. Although Newark makes for a tempting and relatively easy commute away from New York City, it is going to take a little while for New Yorkers so completely saturate the far reaches of the boroughs (or Hoboken and Jersey City), that they’ll automatically think: ‘OK, let’s look at Newark.’ Don’t get me wrong, I think we got a great deal, and have reduced my New Yorker friends to smiling politely and placidly every time I talk about our place, but I think that for a while, we’ll need to make affordable housing a major part of the residential real estate mix before we become a sizzling market.
Here is the part of the story that ran in USAToday:
Jon Bon Jovi’s Philadelphia Soul Charitable Foundation is providing $1 million toward construction of a 51-unit building that will cater to homeless people with special needs, like AIDS patients.
The $15 million building, called Genesis Apartments, will rise where there is now a vacant lot. Joining Bon Jovi at Tuesday’s ground breaking were Gov. Jon Corzine, Newark Mayor Cory Booker, fashion designer Kenneth Cole and his wife, Maria Cuomo Cole, who runs HELP USA, a national nonprofit that is helping to build the units.
“Today I believe we’re starting something,” Bon Jovi said. “Together, I believe we can make a difference, one street, one neighborhood, one city, one soul at a time.”
Bon Jovi, who’s foundation has built affordable housing in Philadelphia, New Orleans and other cities, said he teamed up with Cole to design and market a line of jackets in 2006 to raise awareness to combat homelessness. Profits from that line provided the money for the Newark project, he said.